Sunday, February 01, 2015

War drums

Not long ago, Time magazine picked Vladimir Putin as a runner-up for Person of the Year. They labelled him "The Imperialist" without mentioning any imperialist actions he has undertaken. Well, there's this...
His decision in March to invade and then annex the region of Crimea from Ukraine marked the first growth of Russia’s dominions since the fall of the Soviet Union.
When I first saw this story, my reaction was: "Good thing nobody reads Time anymore." You know that you're in the presence of propaganda whenever an article talks about the "annexation" of Crimea without mentioning the fact that there was an election in which the Crimeans opted to join Russia.

(The real imperialist power at work here is, of course, the Obama government, which engineered the coup in Ukraine.)

The war drums keep a-pounding. Eric Margolis:
Rule number one of geopolitics: nuclear-armed powers must never, ever fight.

Yet Washington just announced that by spring, it will deploy unspecified numbers of military “trainers” to Ukraine to help build Kiev’s ramshackle national guard. Also being sent are significant numbers of US special heavy, mine resistant armored vehicles that have been widely used in Afghanistan and Iraq.
You want motive? Here it is...
The war-craving neocons in Washington and their allies in Congress and the Pentagon have long wanted to pick a fight with Russia and put it in its place for daring to oppose US policies against Iran, Syria and Palestine. What neocons really care about is the Mideast.

Some neocon fantasies call for breaking up the Russian Federation into small, impotent parts. Many Russians believe this is indeed Washington’s grand strategy, mixing military pressure on one hand and social media subversion on the other, aided by Ukrainian oligarchs and rightists. A massive propaganda campaign is underway, vilifying Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin as “the new Hitler.”
Ah yes. The Hitler card. Is anyone still impressed by that, or is playing the Hitler card simply a pro forma thing these days?

Calling Putin "Hitler" is particularly droll if you take a gander at the people we are supporting in Ukraine. The image to your left came to my attention by way of Lena Danya's Twitter feed. See the photo within the photo? By any chance, do you recognize that fellow?

The BBC is also down with the war plan.
"Russian aggression" is the BBC's meme of the day. I lost count of how many times the phrase popped up in the first 15 minutes of Radio 4's World at One programme, devoted entirely to the 'Russian problem - but the theme was drummed in relentlessly.

The idea is that Russia presents a huge a growing threat to world peace and stability. Russian bombers are threatening the 'English' Channel (albeit strictly from international airspace). Russia is an expansionist power attacking sovereign nations, Ukraine in particular. And watch it - we're next!

Commentators wheeled into the studio were unanimous in their views. NATO must stand up to the threat. Presient Vladimir Putin is a dangerous monster who refuses to abide by the rules of the international order. NATO countries must increase their defence spending to counter the Russian menace.

Not a single moderating voice was included in the discussion.
Remember the build-up to the Iraq war? Same shit.
There was no one to discuss NATO's plan to expand right up to Russia's boundary with Ukraine, string its missile launchers along the frontier, and to seize the Sebastopol naval base, home to Russia's Black Sea fleet, and hand it over to the US Navy. Aside: how would the US react if Russia tried that trick in Mexico and Guantanamo, Cuba?

While BBC news is prepared to speak of the million or so refugees from fighting in the Eastern provinces, there is no mention that those refugees have overwhelmingly fled to safety in Russia - a peculiar choice of destination if Russia is indeed the aggressor in the conflict.
Robert Parry has also noticed the ominous parallels to the propaganda barrage we underwent just prior to the Iraq war.
Again, it’s all been about demonized “bad guys” – in this case, Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia’s elected President Vladimir Putin – versus the “pro-Western good guys” who are deemed model democrats even as they collaborated with neo-Nazis to overthrow a constitutional order.

Again, the political is made personal: Yanukovych had a pricy sauna in his mansion; Putin rides a horse shirtless and doesn’t favor gay rights. So, if you raise questions about U.S. support for last year’s coup in Ukraine, you somehow must favor pricy saunas, riding shirtless and holding bigoted opinions about gays.
I really must devote an entire post to the playing of the Gay card. These days, whenever the Powers That Be want us to hate a foreign power, the PTB suddenly become very concerned about gay rights. We are repeatedly told that we need to gear up for war in order to protect innocent gays from the menace of Hitler.

For some odd reason, the PTB rarely show the same concern about gay rights in Saudi Arabia and other friendly Arab countries. I wonder why?

Playing the Gay card is a particularly effective way to keep liberals marching to those war drums. You say you don't want to risk thermonuclear war with Russia? Homophobe!


Monster from the Id said...

Holy Haruhi.

I realize the neocons are Israel-Firsters first, last, and always, but do they not realize that the whole world, INCLUDING ISRAEL, will be devastated if nuclear war erupts between the two biggest nuclear powers?

Failed at being Anon said...

The US "trainers" scheduled to arrive in spring may be too late. The tide of war is shifting in eastern Ukraine, as the Kiev junta resorts to drafting 60 year old men and impressing young men from off the streets and from streetcars to be loaded into trucks headed for the front.
Sources in the Donbass claim that 9000 junta troops in the area of Debaltsevo are now faced with encirclement and annihilation. I sincerely hope that the young Nazi scum posing for this homoerotic photo are among them.